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PM seeks Japan’s help for energy projects

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that Pakistan attached high priority to its relations with Japan and stressed for further raising the trade level between the two countries. The Prime Minister said Pakistan-Japan relations were of great importance as Pakistan regarded Japan an important friend and a development partner and expressed the desire to take these relations to further heights.

He was talking to Japanese ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshi Oe who paid a farewell call on the Prime Minister at his office. Underlining the need to raise the level of trade between the two countries, which currently stood at $ 2.1 billion, the Prime Minister noted with concern, that trade balance was heavily tilted against Pakistan and expressed the desire for its rectification through concrete measures.

The Prime Minister said that existing trade imbalance could be addressed by lowering tariff rates for Pakistani textiles. He expressed gratitude to the government of Japan for its assistance in the upgradation of Unit 1 and Unit 4 of Mangla Dam.

The Prime Minister also sought Japan’s assistance in energy projects in Pakistan like Diamer Bhasha, Kurram Tangi Dam, Munda Dam and other small and medium dams. Hailing Japan’s achievements in the fields of science and technology, he said that Pakistan was keen to learn from Japan.

The Ambassador congratulated the Prime Minister on assuming the office of the country’s chief executive. The Ambassador also conveyed a message of felicitations and best wishes on behalf of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Prime Minister appreciated the positive contributions made by Hiroshi Oe during his tenure as ambassador in Islamabad and his efforts in further promoting Pakistan-Japan relations, especially in the field of trade.

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